Michael Avenatti, the high-profile attorney who represents the likes of Stormy Daniels, and his estranged wife, Lisa Store-Avenatti, have a marital settlement agreement in place. Various provisions in the agreement require him to pay her child support and alimony, in addition to giving her a ton of his assets.
Apparently, the guy has to hand over a bunch of assets for Lisa to liquidate, including five luxury wristwatches (some worth over $50,000), a Frank Gehry sculpture and several other expensive pieces of art, a 2017 Ferrari 488 GT Spider, and an interest in a 2016 Honda private jet.
That’s a lot of stuff, worth a lot of money. Absent an agreement, what assets and how much value does a court have the authority to give one spouse pursuant to a divorce?
As always, the point of view in this post is expressed from the perspective of a divorce attorney in the DMV.
Some states are community property states, meaning that property acquired during the marriage is shared equally upon divorce. Most states, however, have some form of equitable distribution, meaning that marital property is divided according to what the court thinks is fair. Conceivably, the court has the authority to give all of the property to the other spouse. But it needs to be equitable.
The court will need to go through a list of factors, and make findings with respect to each of those factors, before deciding what division of marital property is fair under the circumstances. Factors include, without limitation, the age of the parties, the length of the marriage, each spouse's individual contribution (or lack of contribution) to the marriage and to the assets, the amount of any alimony award, and any other factor the court deems necessary.
If, after considering all the factors, the court thinks it is fair to give all the marital property to one spouse, then it can do that. But the likelihood of that happening is probably similar to the likelihood of winning the lottery. Usually, the court divides marital property fairly evenly, and the biggest discrepancy I’ve seen is around a 60/40 division.
Contact a Wayside Legal Equitable Distribution Attorney
During your divorce and property division case, it’s important to have a divorce lawyer who understands the intricacies of divorce law. At Wayside Legal LLC, we have years of experience working in the divorce field. We’ll be able to answer all of your property division questions, and we’ll be able to advise you on the best ways to move forward on your case. If you have more questions about divorce and equitable distribution, call us at (301) 603-3480 or contact Wayside Legal today.